The current health crisis we are experiencing as a consequence of SARS COVID-19 is affecting everyone. However, little is said about how children are coping with the pandemic. Their daily lives have also been affected and they share the same concerns most of us have. Children observe adults in constant anguish over the uncertainty that COVID-19 is bringing and the wave of false news that easily propagates via social media. Yet, they do not necessarily find a way to express their fears, concerns and emotions.
Now more than ever, the world is at a crossroad. We do have a choice: cities can continue to grow without the inclusion of social needs and environmental consequences, or we can embrace a sustainable and equitable process that builds community, enhances the quality of life, and creates safe and prosperous neighbourhoods.
The 2018 developed “neighbourhood treasure game” in the two pilot neighbourhoods in Zurich is a success! synergo was asked by the housing cooperative “Familienheim-Genossenschaft Zürich (FGZ)” located in the Friesenberg district, to develop a similar game. A workshop with children to identify their favourite places in the neighbourhood was held at the end of February 2020.
In Vienna, Transport City Councillor Birgit Hebein has announced imminent road openings for walking and cycling.
This is intended on the one hand to ensure the required physical (not social!) distance for necessary walking and cycling (which is not possible with many of the current sidewalk and cycle path widths), and on the other hand to create recreational areas in the immediate residential environment away from (partially still closed) parks.
With the help of real accident statistics from the school environment, students analyse accidents which happened on their daily route to school. The workshop aims to raise awareness to the fact that many car drivers or lorry drivers are not very much aware of cyclists or pedestrians. A special focus was on the danger to other road users when a truck is turning off at an intersection. After a practical element, when the students observed an intersection for about 15 minutes and listed the observed misbehaviour, they talked about what they saw in calss and put in perspective.
To support third-graders passing their bicycle safety test in the 4th grade, they can improve their cycling skills with the help of workshops. The workshops are designed to address difficulties and deficits timely so that children still have plenty of time to practice their skills before the bicycle safety test. The workshops cover the following topics:
- Bicycle safety check: breaks, light etc.
- Why a helmet?
- Blind spot
The new encounter-Zone in the Metamorphosis-Neighbourhood "Tiefenbrunnen" in Zürich was inaugurated with a street-opening. Seven parking spaces were also permanently removed in the course of the implementation. This gives children the opportunity to play on the street and to use the street as public space, as meeting place. This promotes both neighbourhood-ness and child-friendliness.